Although “#ImpeachDonaldTrump” trended high Monday morning on Twitter, most Black Democratic leaders appeared unconvinced that the House should start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump after the release of a redacted version of the Mueller report.
Impeachment was clearly on the president’s mind.
“Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment. There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach,” Trump tweeted defensively, lying again that the report cleared him of obstruction.
The report came to no conclusion about obstruction but pointed to several instances in which the president’s actions could be seen as trying to thwart investigations, providing Democrats with a roadmap to impeach him.
Unlike some of her Democratic colleagues, Rep. Maxine Waters of California said Sunday on MSNBC’s “A.M. Joy” that she’s ready to move forward—underscoring that she been ready for a long time.
“If the Democrats can not decide that they are going to move forward with impeachment, I guess we are going to continue to go on with these investigations,” she said. “How long are they going to go on with them? What more do they need to prove?”
Indeed, Black Democrats began this legislative session skeptical about calls to impeach Trump. Congressional Black Caucus chair Rep. Karen Bass told NewsOne in December that the caucus has other priorities in 2019.
“Impeachment is not going to be top on our agenda,” the California congresswoman said during a brief phone conversation. “It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. But at this point in time, we really think that some of the things our community needs are way more important than us going after impeachment now.”
New York’s Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who serves as the House Democratic Caucus chairman, said Thursday on PBS’s News Hour that “impeachment is still off the table as it relates to how we’re going to proceed.” He added that House leadership wants to “methodically collect the information” to build a strong case for impeachment that could get bipartisan support.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said Friday that it’s too soon to discuss impeaching the president. “There’s a lot more investigation that should go on before Congress comes to any conclusions like that,” he told reporters during a presidential campaigning stop in Nevada.
California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is also running for president in 2020, also thinks that it’s premature to impeach Trump after the report was released.
“I think that there is definitely a conversation to be had on that subject,” she said Thursday on MSNBC, “but first I want to hear from Bob Mueller and really understand what exactly is the evidence that supports the summary that we have been given today.”